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Percentage of hydrocarbons in living organism

  1. Jan 18, 2016 #1
    Dear PF Forum,
    I'm interested in how much energy our organic waste contain.
    I have read this article
    Elements composition of plants
    The elements composition of human body (and animal?) and plants resemble. Bacteria has slightly different percentage in nitrogen
    As I have often read, every living organism has some water percentage in it. Now, what I want to know is this.
    1. Average and approximately, how many percent is sugar in living organism?
    2. Is sugar mostly C6H12O6?
    3. Are there any other sugar compound?

    Thank you very much
    My line of questionings will lead to how much methane (CH4) that we can get from organic waste, but I'd like to know some basic facts before I ask my main question.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2016 #2


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    C6H12O6 is just one type of sugar, namely glucose. In organic chemistry nomenclature, the names of sugars end in -ose.

    Other common sugars are fructose, lactose, maltose, etc.


    These compounds are properly termed 'carbohydrates', since they contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

    A 'hydrocarbon' is composed of carbon and hydrogen.
  4. Jan 18, 2016 #3
    Thanks SteamKing.
    And..., the approximately sugar percentage in a living organism?
    If approximately 95% elements composition of a living organism is Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and approximately 60% to 70% is water, then, how is the percentage of sugar/glucose? Just approximate number would be enough for me.

  5. Jan 18, 2016 #4


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    I don't think I've ever seen any break down on the percentage of sugar in various living organisms, because the percentage of sugars keeps changing as the organism goes thru the day.

    Sugars are a vehicle to deliver the energy from food to the individual cells making up the organism. Metabolic processes in the cell convert sugars to energy, and carbon dioxide and water, among other compounds, are created and eliminated in the process.
  6. Jan 18, 2016 #5
    Thanks Steamking.
    Perhaps you might help me with this question.
    What is the approximate percentage of methane extracted from organic waste? If properly processed, without additional energy outside the system.
    For example. I put some 10 kg organic waste in a sealed box with one or two small hole that can expelled gas from the inside if the pressure inside the box is higher then the atmosphere.
    So, for 10 kg organic waste, approximately, how much methane (in KG) can we get?
    Thank you very much.

    I'd like to know what is the benefit of composting. How much energy can we get from 10 kg organic waste.
  7. Jan 18, 2016 #6


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  8. Jan 18, 2016 #7
    Dry organic waste is going to be mostly carbon.
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